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General Chinese (Beginner Level)

eChineselearning provides a huge number of Chinese resources for Chinese language learners. The materials in this section are designed to teach Chinese to non-native Chinese learners of various skill levels. These basic Chinese language materials are edited by eChineselearning's professional teaching staff. And best of all, they are totally FREE! If you are interested in learning Chinese, the basic Chinese language resources in this section will be of a great use to you!

Traveling in China often brings up a lot of confusion and anxiety for foreigners. China, despite being the most populated country in the world, is still a bit of a mystery for foreign visitors.
My first trip to China was my most exciting! I didn’t know what to expect at all! I was a bit ...


Have you ever met someone and been very impressed by how down to earth they are? In Chinese we have a phrase which is an equivalent to this idea in English and it is “接地气 (jiē dìqì)”. Native Chinese speakers often use it in daily life, when referring to a person or even more often, ...


Sometimes a reason to keep learning Mandarin is to take a good look at well-known people who have learned it, and study the way they achieved fluency. Let’s take a look at these famous people who have taken the time to learn how to read, write and speak Mandarin:
1. Mark Zuckerberg 马克.扎克伯格. Everyone knows Mark ...


Although some of my Mandarin Chinese students sign up for Chinese classes to impress their in-laws, enrich their cultural knowledge or just to exercise their brains, the vast majority of my students become interested in Mandarin Chinese due to its business and career applications. There is probably no other language that will open doors the ...


Key Learning Points (Preview):

黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu) n. golden week

 

爬山 (páshān) v. mountain hiking

 

October first is "国庆节 (Guóqìngjié) National Day" in China, and commemorates the establishment of present-day China. "节(jié)" means "festival;" "国庆 (guóqìng)" is short for "国家喜庆之事 (guójiā xǐqìng zhī shì) the country's joyous moments." In ancient China, the biggest and most joyous event for ...


Often, the Mandarin Chinese students in my class will hear trendy slang language that they don’t understand. It’s always fun, as a Chinese teacher, to explain to the class what these new expressions mean. Often, I let the students make an educated guess before explaining the meaning fully. Today, I will introduce to you an ...


Mandarin Chinese is definitely a foreign language for Westerners and even Easterners alike. But what are some of the most common misconceptions that Mandarin Chinese Learners have? We explore the top four below:
1. All Chinese People Speak Standard Mandarin Chinese
Not true! When I was traveling throughout China, even though I was an HSK Level ...


Are you a person who is concerned about the body shapes of yourself and others? Sometimes on the street, we can’t take our eyes away when we see some nice body types, or some “辣眼睛 (làyǎnjīng) eyes feeling spicy” types. In Chinese, we have some vivid phrases to describe the perfect and imperfect body parts ...


I have been teaching Chinese for over 12 years. And I have seen my Chinese language-learning students every Chinese language mistake in the book! But I have noticed over the years that there are some mistakes almost everyone makes. Chances are you are making them, too, and can easily avoid these pitfalls if you just ...


Have you ever been this girl?
There was a girl making her way down the street one day. An attractive young man caught her eye. She walked, needing to put her foot onto the curb and ended up tripping over herself.
Have you ever been this boy?
A boy sat in school. In front of him was ...


In a previous article , we introduced Initials and Finals. Today we will teach another important part of Pinyin: Tones. Many learners have difficulties mastering the tones of each character, but correct tonal pronunciation is essential for intelligibility because of the vast number of words in the language that only differ by tone.
1. Pinyin – ...


“你吃饭了吗 (Nǐ chīfàn le ma) Have you eaten yet?” is a traditional way of greeting others. One day, one of my students tried to use this Chinese sentence to greet others before we started the class. It came as quite a shock when he asked me “你吃粪了吗 (nǐ chī fèn le ma)? Have you eaten ...


One of my favorite aspects of living and studying in China is that I get to learn about and take part in holidays that are completely new and very exciting for me. While some Chinese holidays such as New Year, the Moon Festival and the Dragon Boat festival I had known before arriving in China, ...


1. The History of Kung-fu
In Chinese, the term 功夫 (gōngfū) Kung-fu refers to any skill that is acquired through learning or practice. It is a compound word composed of the words 功 (gōng) meaning “work”, “achievement”, or “merit”, and 夫 (fū) which is a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings. “Kung-fu,” the way people ...


Today I will introduce to you one of my favorite lessons that I teach my foreign students. This topic is about how we address each other in China. It’s quite different from how people in the west address each other. In particular, I will explain to you all of the different ways that a man ...


Today I’m going to tell you about one of China’s most beloved summer time snacks. They are bright red when cooked. They come from the water. They have ten legs and two claws. Lobster, you might think? Guess again!
Over the past twenty years, the Chinese have gone crazy for the lobster’s tiny cousin. The ...


1. About Learning Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan. There are many versions of Chinese spoken throughout China; including Cantonese (spoken in Guangdong province), the Beijing dialect and the Shanghai dialect; but Mandarin Chinese is most common dialect spoken by Chinese people from all areas.
Mandarin Chinese is known as ...


Do you watch The Bachelor or Bachelorette?
In each show the main hero or heroine (who we label as the Bachelor or Bachelorette) hands out a series of roses to contestants who he or she favors and a final rose to let the final contestant who he or she picks to be his or her wife ...


Today I’m going to introduce some fun and helpful Chinese songs that you can learn, from beginner to intermediate level. These songs can supplement your Mandarin Chinese progress and make things a bit more fun. In fact, one of my favorite parts of teaching Chinese is introducing songs for my students of all levels to ...


The grass is always greener on the other hill. Let’s learn how to say “other” in Chinese.

Exercises in the Video:
1. A: Jenny, what are you looking for?
    B: Wǒ xiǎng mǎi mángguǒ.
    A: Zhèi ge chāoshì méiyǒu. Wǒmen qù biéde chāoshì, zěnmeyàng?
    B: Hǎo.
    What would they probably do next? Please choose the best answer.
    ...


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